Precious Encounters

It was in April 1968 that I entered this industry. Our company was a small newspaper firm that put out business journals. Among them, I was involved in the editorial work on a magazine with the grand title of Rajio terebi sangyo (Radio and TV Industry). The editorial department for that magazine consisted of the editor in chief and myself.

I had really wanted to find a job in editing, and I sent my curriculum vitae to several publishing companies, but they all turned me down. Then one day I was looking through the jobs-vacant notices at a public employment security office in Iidabashi. I was just about to give up, thinking I was out of luck that day as well, when at the back I spotted a notice saying “Editor wanted!” I didn’t know much about the work of a journalist, but the word “editor” excited me. “At last I’ve found what I was looking for,” I thought. Immediately I went along for an interview, and fortunately that evening I received a telegram informing me that I had been hired. I started work the next day.

Two years later, I think it was, the chief editor retired, and, because of personnel difficulties at that time, I became responsible for the editorial work. When I saw the president at that time lamenting that “Now that Mr. M has retired, we won’t be able to carry on with the magazine,” I told him, “I’ll do it!” “Can you manage?” he asked. “Yes, of course,” I answered positively. The reason why I was so confident was that actually the chief editor had also been doing a side job, known only to me. Accordingly, I had had to do the work to fill that gap. Even when we had to go outside for the final proofreading, the chief editor did not come. He would telephone at about three o’clock in the afternoon to ask how things were going. I was amazed by his repeated irresponsibility, and somewhat indignant as well. “I’ll be finished soon,” I would reply, and then work alone into the night to get it done. That was the frequent pattern. Now, though, I am rather grateful to that chief editor, because thanks to him I was able to learn all about editorial work in a very short time. At the same time, I had the feeling that if I were in charge, I would take more care of my staff. It was that confidence that led me so say, “I’ll do it!”

A year later we inaugurated Audio senka (Audio Special Course), a magazine aimed at fostering audio specialty stores. At the time of its founding, I asked the president, “Who do you want to read it?” His answer was, “Audio specialty stores.” Cheekily, I added, “If you have decided who the readers will be, then it will be a success.” If the target was clear, failure was unthinkable. Nevertheless, one of the keys to the magazine’s success was the ardent advice we received from the likes of Tereon President Shichinojo Suzuki, Dynamic Audio President Toshiro Ogiwara, Disk Union President Shoichi Hirohata, Koyo Denki President Yasushi Kono, and Yokohama Sound President Shinjiro Higuchi. I cannot thank them enough.

I read a lot of books as well, such as Karl Marx’s The Communist Manifesto; Shintaro Ryu’s Mono no mikata ni tsuite (On Ways of Looking at Things) and Ikani kangaeruka (How Should We Think?); Yoshishige Kozai’s Shiso to wa nanika (What Is Thought?); Konosuke Matsushita’s Shobai kokoroecho (Guidelines for Business); Kiichi Yoshida and Tsuneo Kudo’s Hakai no maketingu (The Marketing of Destruction); Taichi Sakaiya’s Dankai no sedai (Baby Boomers); Chie Nakane’s Tate shakai no ningen kankei (Personal Relations in a Vertical Society); and Tempu Nakamura’s Unmei o hiraku (Opening Destiny). It was these books especially that opened my eyes and guided me step by step through the changing times.

These were all precious encounters for which I am full of gratitude. And now, as a counter to discount stores, the demand for specialty store business is gaining momentum again. Customers are requiring specialty store services. I am determined to utilize the history of our magazine once more and build the age of the specialty store.